Finally a ceasefire has been established and the drone of war has stopped. Gaza and Israel while not yet at peace are at least able to come out from their shelters and resume a somewhat normal life. I pray that the quiet succeeds. Yet this is the Middle East and lasting peace is not a characteristic often associated with this area of the world.
War is devastating. Infrastructure is destroyed and lives, mostly innocent, are lost. While wars can be easily waged it’s a much harder task to learn essential lessons as a result of them. I suggest that it’s fair to ask what essential lessons have the leadership in Gaza and perhaps Palestinians in general learned from this current crisis? Not to be so bold I would suggest a few important ones:
First, Israel is not going away. Created by a vote in the United Nations in 1948, the State of Israel is a fixed reality. Expending enormous resources both materially and in human life in order to bring an end to the Jewish state is futile. The sooner Palestinians come to this realization the better off they will be.
Second, it’s time, actually it’s already well past due, that Palestinians (and here I speak not only those that live in Gaza but those in the West Bank as well) begin the process of state building. In the past nine years the citizens of Gaza have squandered opportunity after opportunity to develop into an independent, self-sufficient nation. Nation building, infrastructure building takes enormous work. Imagine what could have been achieved in the past nine years if the focus of the Palestinian leadership was for the betterment of its own people rather than the fanatic hatred of the Jewish state? Please don’t squander a single day more.
And third, let history be your lesson. After years of war and hatred peace was established between Egypt and Israel and Jordan and Israel. Don’t allow this war to give rise to greater hate and more violence. Sixty-nine years ago today the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima thus bringing a conclusion to the Second World War. Thousands of Japanese died; most were innocent civilians. While it can be debated whether our military’s actions had merit or not, what cannot be debated is the fact that today America and Japan are allies and friends. Do not allow hate to rule your behavior and the prospects of a brighter future.
Oseh shalom bimromav
hu ya’aseh shalom aleynu
v’al kol Yisrael ve al kol ha olam
May the one who makes peace on high
make peace upon us
and upon all of Israel and upon all the world
and let us say amen